Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? –Matthew 6:30
I was stopped at a red light the other day when I happened to notice a bird pecking around the new grass a few feet from the curb. I’m not a bird watcher and don’t know how to tell one from the other, but I knew this one was new to the area. Maybe he was resting his wings on his migration south.
This bird was beautifully clothed with blue and purple iridescent feathers. All animals are perfectly garbed for their habitat. My dog has the prettiest fur, though she really doesn’t need it in our air conditioned house. But if she lived in the wild, she’d stay warm.
As you’ve noticed, human beings don’t come with clothing. So how does God clothe us? By providing a brain and two hands with opposable thumbs to earn the money to buy the clothes. And we should have enough brain cells left over to manage our clothes budget wisely.
Your Spring Wardrobe.
What better time to think about new clothes? As a rule, I don’t like dressing up, but Easter is the time for wearing your best. Shouldn’t we at least look as good as those lilies pictured here?
Clothes are on the expense side of the budget, but when you think about it, this is an expense that’s more variable than any other. We can spend very little and be well clothed, or we can spend too much in an attempt to…what? Impress people?
Having money doesn’t mean you have to spend it.
This is one of my top ten tips to living richly and nowhere is it truer than applied to the clothes budget. Even if you can afford a $500.00 handbag, should you buy it? I think not. What else can that $450.00 be used for?
Big name brands have spent millions to make us think we have to have a certain brand, and they’ve been very successful. But honestly, there are knock-off brands that look and wear just as well. I know. That’s where I go, and I don’t think my reputation has been damaged over the years.
Clothes should have a longer life than style.
Being locked into a particular style begins when you purchase the garment. Buying something that’s flashy and different is bound to lose its appeal sooner than a more classical style. Spend more money on the little black dress or the classic black suit. Dress it up or down as you wish. Buy clothes that you’ll want to keep more than one year.
Don’t over-buy. No one needs more than a dozen pairs of shoes. The first decision to make when buying clothes is need. After that is taste.
No one’s ever accused me of having expensive taste. But I’m an old fuddy-duddy. Style means more to young people. I understand that, and young people don’t usually have as much to spend. If your taste exceeds your means, all I can do is point you to thrift shops, and if you’re willing to spend a lot of time shopping for something that appeals and fits, try them.
Modesty is never out of style.
No, not even for young people. It goes without saying, you have to consider your age and body type as well as your means. The dress pictured here is modest and fits a teenager well, but at my age, I’d have to add a couple of inches to the hem.
There’s no doubt some teenagers dress outrageously, but whose fault is it? Young people haven’t developed the brain cells to know better. It’s we parents who bear the responsibility. What are the parents thinking to allow their son to walk around (with difficulty) in pants below the crotch, or their daughter to leave the house dressed like a hooker? I suppose some parents think it’s cool. But caring parents will use the power of the purse to exact discipline. Yes, it does come back to money and our responsibility to spend it wisely. The consequences go far beyond the numbers sometimes.
Let me get off my soapbox and back to the budget. If you don’t already have a certain amount budgeted for clothes, it shouldn’t be hard to estimate a monthly amount for the family clothing costs. Keep it reasonable for your lifestyle and income. Then look for those sales. There’s no need to spend more than necessary, especially for clothes.
Now that we’re dressed up, how about a night on the town. Next week I’ll discuss entertainment expenses.